The market looks to begin the week on solid ground this morning, as the futures point to a firm opening.

Lately, the

S&P 500 futures on

Globex

were ahead 2.8 to 1472, about two and a half points above

fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

, and indicating positive sentiment for the opening. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were also up 45 to 3677, about 45 points above fair value as calculated by

TheStreet.com

, and showing upward pressure for the Nasdaq's start.

Activity overseas is further encouraging for the U.S. open. After midsession trading, Germany's Xetra Dax was up 1.31%. France's

CAC 40

was ahead 0.81%, while the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

improved 0.28% (see today's

European Midday Update for more). Japan's

Nikkei 225

rose 2.14% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

improved 1.73% (see today's

Asian Update for more).

In early trading on

Instinet

this morning,

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

was trading on light volume at 27, up from Friday's closing price of 26 15/16. The software giant called a press conference today to make a "significant" -- not earnings-related -- announcement on Monday. Computer Associates provided no further details.

The fourth largest software maker's big news might be a corporate restructuring, analysts told

Bloomberg

. Computer Associates said back in June that it might spin off some businesses into tracking stocks to unlock some value from its sagging stock price.

Also moving in preopen trading is energy company

GPU

(GPU)

. Shares of GPU were trading up from Friday's close of 28 1/16 to 35. The

Wall Street Journal

reported this morning that

FirstEnergy

(FE) - Get Report

is in talks to buy GPU. The deal could be valued at $4.5 billion in stock and cash, in addition to $7.7 billion in dept assumption, and would create one of the U.S.'s largest electric companies.

Friday's After-Hours Trading

By

Angela Privin

Staff Reporter

(

Updated from 7:20 p.m. EDT

)

Pump up the volume. Pump up the volume. Trade! Trade!

It is Friday night, and it is on precisely these sleepy summer evenings, when volume is thinner than an undernourished runway model, that sly stock jobbers can blow stocks around with little breath.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

had little to shout about today. The Internet stalwart settled a relatively modest 2% higher as

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index, the

DOT, finished up 1.5%.

There was some news. Apparently one of America's most visited portals was also the top Web site in Singapore for the month of June. Also, Internet telephony got some media buzz today and Yahoo! happens to own a stake in Internet dialing company

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

.

None of these tidbits were likely to move the stock, and most likely, Yahoo!'s gain of 1 to 134.93 was the work of an opportunistic trader.

Read-Rite

(RDRT)

pulled in the buyers today, ending the session 16% higher. Magnetism doesn't just describe the company's performance today, but also its business. The California tech company supplies magnetic recording heads for the hard-disk-drive market.

Since it hit its 52-week-low of $1.84, on June 22, the company has been slowly recovering. Wednesday's third-quarter results helped speed the climb. The company announced a loss of $37.7 million, or 66 cents a share, on sales of $140.9 million, an improvement over the $44 million loss in the second quarter and the $50.5 million loss in the year-ago period. Also, shipments grew by 10%. Tonight profit-taking set in after two days of sharp gains, taking the stock 10 cents lower to 4.99.

Trader chat rooms are not always the nicest place to play. There is usually a lot more profanity than profundity and truth isn't always served up as ordered.

Crossroads Systems

(CRDS)

was the subject of colorful discussion in one such chat room. The provider of storage routers for fiber-channel storage area networks rose almost 30% today despite being slapped with a class-action lawsuit on Wednesday. Typically these lawsuits don't roil share prices too harshly, but there was little news to explain the buying. Some chatters implied that eager bargain-hunting was responsible after a 52-week low of 4.25 hit on July 28. Another trader alleged stock manipulation. Whatever the reason, Crossroads was the most active issue on

Island

, trading 1.87, or 22%, higher to 10.12 on 320,000 shares.

On Wednesday traders dumped

PhyCor

(PHYC)

shares, fearing that the company would be delisted from the Nasdaq after recording damages of $350 million to $450 million in the second and third quarters, due to the write-off of assets.

Thursday, the Tennessee-based operator of medical clinics sold some of its assets to the

Grove Hill Medical Center

in an effort to restructure its relationships with the clinics it manages. PhyCor received about $15.5 million in proceeds, a price exceeding the net book value of the assets.

Today the company settled up 42%, gained 10% in early postclose trading and then drifted lower to a flat 88 cents.

The shares of

Emulex

(EMLX)

rallied 42% during the day session after the data network company reported better-than-expected results.

The surprisingly strong performance boosted analysts' confidence in the company's business model. The day's flood of buying shrank to a trickle, as Emulex rose 1.31, or 2%, to 69.25.

CAIS Internet

(CAIS)

jumped 24% today on news that

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

poured $40 million into the broadband Internet access provider for businesses and hotels. The companies are developing a co-branded portal for the hospitality industry.

CAIS will report second-quarter results Monday, with consensus expectations calling for a loss of $1.17 a share. Meanwhile, the after-hours party continued to rage as the Internet company gained an additional 37 cents, or 3.8%, to 10.37.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.